Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nomadic Danes travel to Yale

I received my media pass for UAlbany's first home football game (Oct. 9 vs. St. Francis) this afternoon from the UAlbany Athletics department .

That must mean football is on the way.

Okay, I'm joking. Obviously, the Great Danes 2010 season is already underway.

I probably have mentioned this already, but it bears repeating that UAlbany is the only FBS or FCS team that doesn't have a home game in the month of September. They are probably the only team in the country, including Division II and III, but that's not verified.

Anyway, the Great Danes are trying to stop a two-game slide that has them thinking the 3-0 season-opening victory over Maine was so long ago it was last season.

On a negative note, freshman running back Tramaine Wilson will not travel for the second straight week. Coach Bob Ford said it's a personal issue and he's again hoping he'll be there next week for the home opener.

I had a chance to talk to senior Ross Bertrand, who is the only player from the state of Connecticut about playing Yale.

"I know it has great history behind it, but I've never been there," said the Stamford, Conn., native.

Bertrand says he'll have at least 25-30 people coming to the game.

Look for our game preview online and in print on Saturday.

Below senior defensive end Mike Kelly talks about the Yale game. I've been told he is a theater minor, so he should be a natural on camera.

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New Haven blogs Yale football

For anyone interested in a little more about the Yale football team, check out The New Haven Register's Yale football blog here.

UAlbany takes on the Bulldogs on Saturday at the Yale Bowl at noon.

This is one of our sister papers and the blog is run by Spots Editor Sean Barker and beat writer Jim Fuller.

There's plenty of info on the Bulldogs.

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Purple/Gold scrimmage Nov. 22??

I was over at UAlbany today touching base with the field hockey team and the football team and I got some news on the basketball team.

The Purple/Gold scrimmage looks like it could be before the Friday night football game against Central Connecticut University on Nov. 22.

That would certainly be an interesting dynamic.

Also, the first day of practice is Nov. 15 from 5-730. Media guru Brian DePasquale said he wasn't sure if that would be open to the public.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The weight's on Rossiter's shoulders

Siena big man Ryan Rossiter had some help getting up to 258 pounds, what he said he weighed the last time he stepped on a scale.

During last week's Sneak Preview, Rossiter said he spent some of the offseason working with his brother, Stephen, who had just finished up his college basketball career at Davidson.

Stephen wants to start down the physical training path and the two joked that Ryan was his "first client".

Ryan said the two would wake up at 9 a.m., eat something, go running, eat something and then go to the gym to lift and work on his game.

"It was great having someone who wanted to give me 1-on-1 attention," Ryan said.

Ryan started last season weighing 240, but said he typically loses 10 pounds during the season, so he ended the year under 230.

He wanted to put on more weight, knowing that he's going to take more punishment this season as he is focused on by opposing defenses.

He also gave credit to his mother, Patty, who he said had delicious meals waiting for him on the table in between workouts.

Rossiter did say he didn't want to put on too much weight, something that could hinder his ability to run the floor.

The extra weight is already showing to be a positive.

"He's a very physical player now," said coach Mitch Buonaguro. Watching him the last month, he looks way more physical in the post."

Rossiter will be the biggest and best player on a different kind of Siena team this season. The Saints will have plenty of height and with the addition of Seton Hall transfer Brandon Walters, and the continued progress of O.D. Anosike and Davis Martens, the team will have four players taller than 6-foot-8. Another big body is Steven Priestley, who is 6-5.

"We're definitely going to be a better defensive team than we've been in the past," Rossiter said.

Rossiter also was excited for Walters to step on the floor. There were times last year, Rossiter said, that he had a harder time scoring in practice than in actual games.

"He's very hard to move, going against him in practice," said Rossiter of Walters.

Rossiter averaged 13.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last season and will likely be the MAAC preseason Player of the Year choice coming into his final year in Loudonville.

"That's not something I worry about," he said. "If I'm fortunate enough to get that at the end of the season, that means, in my opinion, that we've won a MAAC championship and that's what we're looking for."

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Parnell hired as RPI assistant

Former Siena women's basketball player Sara Parnell has been hired as a women's basketball assistant at RPI, where she will aide 10th-year head coach John Greene.

“We are excited to have Sara join the athletic department family,” said RPI Athletic Director Jim Knowlton. “Her energy and passion for the game will be a very positive addition to our program.”

Parnell graduated from Siena in 2010.

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FCS Top 25 - Sept. 27

Here is the updated Top 25 for The Sports Network/ FCS Top 25.

UAlbany's opponent for next week, Yale, is receiving votes.

Here is my ballot with the actual ranking in parentheses, if different.

1. Villanova
2. James Madison (3)
3. Appalachian State (2)
4. Jacksonville State
5. Stephen F. Austin (6)
6. Delaware (5)
7. William & Mary
8. Massachusetts
9. Montana State (10)
10. Montana (12)
11. New Hampshire (14)
12. South Carolina State (9)
13. North Dakota State
14. Cal Poly (15)
15. Richmond (11)
16. Eastern Washington
17. Elon (21)
18. Georgia Southern (18)
19. Furman (19)
20. Northern Iowa (17)
21. Liberty (25)
22. Sacremento State (NR)
23. Illinois State
24. South Dakota (NR)
25. Robert Morris (NR)

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

WPI wins Transit Trophy 24-10

The RPI football team made too many mistakes on this day and it cost them the Transit Trophy.

WPI picked up their first victory in this series between Engineers since 1996 by capitalizing on those mistakes and cashing in for a 24-10 victory at East Campus Stadium.

The Engineers from Troy thought they had the momentum swinging in their favor in the fourth quarter, but after the defense forced a punt with seven minutes to go, Pat McCarthy fumbled and WPI recovered.

The Engineers from Worcester made them pay as Aaron Champagne scored from eight yards out to give WPI a 24-10 lead.

Even before that, RPI’s miscues cost them dearly.

RPI tried a fake punt, trailing 10-7 in the third quarter, but Matt Wood was hauled down on a great defensive play.

The stop seemed to give WPI momentum as they took the ball right down the field for a touchdown and 17-7 lead.

WPI took the game’s opening kickoff and drove right down the field, scoring on a 1-yard run by Ernie Mello.

The drive took 8 plays and covered 62 yards.

RPI thought they had mustered some points when the defense caused a fumble from WPI quarterback Pat McAuley.

Brown picked up the ball and fumbled himself. It was then recovered in the end zone and ruled a touchback.

RPI couldn’t muster a first down in the first quarter. On the last play of the opening quarter, Pat McCarthy caught a 10-yard pass for a first down, but fumbled the ball away.

RPI finally got on the board after an 11-play 63-yard drive, when Mike Hermann tossed a jump ball to McCarthy on 3rd & goal for a 1-yard touchdown.

Sophomore Steven Burpoe made a huge catch on the drive, taking a big hit, but hauling in a first down to set RPI up inside the 5.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Sept. 24: Local College Football Capsules


At Rooney Athletic Field, Pittsburgh, 12 p.m.

(WOFX 980-AM —

Records: UAlbany (0-0 NEC, 1-1 overall) — Duquesne (0-0 NEC, 2-1 overall)

Last Meeting: UAlbany 55, Duquesne 10 at University Field, Albany, Oct. 10, 2009 — UAlbany leads the all-time series 3-0.

Last Week: UAlbany bye — Duquesne lost to No. 7 Delaware 30-6

About the Great Danes: UAlbany is 5-1 at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level after a bye week. The Great Danes have won nine of 11 Northeast Conference openers since joining the league in 1999.

About the Dukes: Duquesne is 1-1 all-time in Northeast Conference openers. Senior receiver Connor Dixon played quarterback last season and is a transfer from Michigan State.

Edge: The Great Danes are on the road, but they still have the upper hand.


At East Campus Stadium, Troy, 2 p.m.

(WRPI 91.5-FM —

Records: WPI (0-0 LL, 2-1 overall) — RPI (0-0 LL, 1-1 overall)

Last Meeting: RPI 42, WPI 33 at Alumni Field, Worcester, Mass., Sept. 26, 2009 — RPI leads the all-time series 55-43-5

Last Week: WPI defeated Becker 55-0 — RPI lost to Utica 42-21

About the Engineers (WPI): WPI has a new coach in Chris Robertson, who came to Worcester from Salve Regina. Robertson coached with former WPI coach Ed Zaloom at Siena and played football at the University at Albany. This game marks a return home for Kevin Woods (Hoosick Falls), Jerrod Heiser (Troy) and Greg Mollnow (Cohoes).

About the Engineers (RPI): The Transit Trophy was first awarded in 1979 to the winner of this engineering rivalry. RPI holds the edge in Transit games 21-8-1. Last week’s non-conference loss was only RPI’s second in the last six years (14-2).

Edge: RPI hasn’t lost the Transit Trophy since 1996, but they could be in trouble this season if they don’t play much better than they have this season.


At Frank Bailey Field, Schenectady, 6 p.m.

(Time Warner ch. 3 — WABY 1160-AM —

Records: Rochester (0-0 LL, 0-2 overall) — Union (0-0 LL, 0-1 overall)

Last Meeting: Union 28, Rochester 21 at Edwin Fauver Stadium, Rochester, Sept. 26, 2009Union leads the all-time series 49-46-5

Last Week: Rochester lost to St. John Fisher 49-21 — Union bye

About the Yellowjackets: Rochester is averaging 4.1 yards per rush this season. The Yellowjackets allowed 315 yards through the air last week against St. John Fisher.

About the Dutchmen: Senior running back Chris Coney needs just 48 yards to become the fourth player in school history with more than 3,000 yards rushing in a career.

Edge: Union is the better team and playing at home, they should post the victory.

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SIENA: full bball schedule released

The Siena Saints entire schedule has been released.

Times are still not locked in yet, but the Saints will kick off MAAC play at Rider on Friday, Nov. 26 or the day after Thanksgiving.

Their first conference home game is Friday, Dec. 10 against Fairfield.

For the entire schedule, here is the link.

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Great Danes football travel notes

The Great Danes left for Pittsburgh Friday morning at 9 a.m. and will stop in Rochester to have a walk through at St. John Fisher College.

Fisher Offensive Coordinator Dave Parks is a 2003 graduate of UAlbany and another assistant coach, Colin Disch, is a 2007 graduate of UAlbany.

The team will arrive around dinner time and kickoff is 12 p.m. on Saturday against Duquesne (2-1).

I talked to defensive lineman Eddie Delaney, quarterback Dan Di Lella and coach Bob Ford for a story about beginning the Northeast Conference season that will appear in Saturday's paper.

Below sophomore running back Andrew Smith talks about how he'll be back on the field on Saturday.

Below is the video preview compiled by the UAlbany sports department

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

SIENA: Burdine at Sneak Preview

Siena freshman Trenity Burdine talks about how he's fitting in with the Saints, the tradition of playing at Siena and a possible comparison to Edwin Ubiles.

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SIENA: Jackson needs new shoes

Siena senior guard Clarence Jackson needs new shoes.

Seriously, he played the first three years of his career in the same pair.

He's played so much in those sneakers that he wore right through the soles.

Jackson has dealt with a number of foot injuries over the past seven months and an upgrade in shoes and what's in them is necessary for him to get back on the floor.

Jackson broke a bone in his foot over the summer and is still recovering, saying he puts himself at about 85 percent, when he spoke to reporters on Thursday at Siena's Sneak Preview event.

"Sometimes I find myself being a little timid with it," he said.

The injury occurred on a seemingly harmless play where he drove the lane during pickup basketball, while being guarded by Kyle Downey.

When he landed, he felt the bone "roll out," but says he was okay.

The next day things weren't feeling much better and he went to get x-rays.

Jackson missed Siena's NCAA Tournament game against Purdue, back in March, because he rolled his ankle the week of the game.

After this more recent injury, the doctor said the bones in his feet collide together and that's the reason why his ankles are not as stable as they should be.

Because of this, Jackson will wear Orthotics in his shoes this season to give him a better arch and the ability to move more comfortably.

As for the hole in shoes, Jackson realizes he probably should have switched them long ago.

"I should have thought about this a while ago," he said. "I was just playing basketball and didn't want to think about it."

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UAlbany's RB Wilson suspended 1 week

ALBANY - Freshman running back Tramaine Wilson has been suspended for one week according to coach Bob Ford for violating team regulations.

Ford wouldn't elaborate, but said he will "hopefully" be back next week.

Wilson, who the coaches were very high on during the preseason, has rushed for 50 yards on 24 carries so far this season.

That leaves the Great Danes (1-1) with Andrew Smith, freshman Dillon Romain and redshirt freshman Amsterdam High graduate Ben Miseikis in the back field for Saturday's Northeast Conference opener at Duquesne (2-1).

Smith will play, after missing the Stephen F. Austin game because of a leg injury.

Other Injury notes:
  • Left guard Kyle O'Keefe back, but won't play the whole game
  • Wide receiver Jason Poore has a hamstring issue, but he'll play
"There's two times that you're going to be healthy," Ford said. "Fourth of July and Christmas. In between, you'll always have aches and pains."

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FCS Top 25 - Sept. 20

I've made my first picks for The Sports Network/ FCS Top 25.

I made the selections on Sunday and they were released on Monday.

I put UAlbany's Northeast Conference foe Robert Morris in at No. 25 after the Colonials upset then No. 15 Liberty. UAlbany (1-1) plays at Robert Morris (2-1) on Oct. 16. Yale is also receiving votes. The Great Danes play the Bulldogs on Oct. 2. Stephen F. Austin who handed UAlbany their only loss is ranked No. 6, up four spots after beating previous No. 13 Northern Iowa.

Here is my ballot with the actual ranking in parentheses, if different.

1. Villanova
2. Appalachian State (3)
3. James Madison (2)
4. Jacksonville State
5. Richmond
6. Stephen F. Austin
7. Delaware
8. Elon (10)
9. Eastern Washington
10. William & Mary (8)
11. Montana (14)
12. Massachusetts (11)
13. Southern Illinois
14. South Carolina State (12)
15. New Hampshire (16)
16. Northern Iowa (15)
17. Montana State
18. North Dakota State
19. Liberty (22)
20. Cal Poly
21. Weber State (NR)
22. Furman (23)
23. Sacremento State (NR)
24. Illinois State (NR)
25. Robert Morris (NR)

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where's the O at RPI?

All the talk coming from and about the 2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute football team (myself included) was that shootouts would be the name of the game this season in Troy.

One game and six points later, there's no longer talk about how many - but when will the Engineers score their first touchdown of the year.

The offense (115 rushing, 92 passing) was simply not good enough last Saturday against Endicott.

This offense was supposed to be better than last year's, now that quarterback Mike Hermann had another year under his belt.

In 2009, RPI beat Endicott 28-0. This year the score was just 6-3.

Brian Surace is back in the fold as Offensive Coordinator and his first game was not one I'm sure he'll want to remember.

If it weren't for three missed field goals from the Gulls (two blocked, one missed with 54 seconds remaining) RPI would be at 0-1 and have a lot more questions to be answered.

As many coaches say and I'm sure RPI coach Joe King will echo, it's better to learn things in a win rather than a loss.

Hopefully, the Engineers are learning something because six points won't be enough to win on Saturday against Utica.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Local College Football Capsules

At Homer Bryce Stadium, Nacogdoches, Texas, 7 p.m.
(WOFX 980-AM —
Records: UAlbany (1-0 overall) — Stephen F. Austin (0-1 overall)
Last Meeting: First Meeting.
Last Week: UAlbany defeated Maine 3-0 — Stephen F. Austin lost to Texas A&M 48-7
About the Great Danes: UAlbany is coming off of their first season-opening shutout since 1979, when they defeated Hobart 10-0. The Great Danes are playing their highest ranked opponent since opening the 2008 season against No.5 Massachusetts, a game they lost 28-16. The most recent ranked opponent UAlbany played was last season against No. 20 Maine, which they won 20-16.
About the Lumberjacks: In 2009, Stephen F. Austin led the country in passing yards (343.7), was second in total offense (468.9) and sixth in scoring (34.9 ppg). Quarterback Jeremy Moses is already the school’s all-time leading passer and is on the Walter Payton Award Watch List, given to the top player in the country. Coach J.C. Harper was a grad assistant under both current Texas coach Mack Brown at North Carolina and Lou Holtz at Notre Dame.
Edge: Stephen F. Austin is playing at home and they are the better team. UAlbany will have to play great to come up with an upset.

At Endicott Stadium, Beverly, Mass., 1 p.m.
(WRPI 91.5-FM —
Records: RPI (0-0 overall) — Endicott (1-0 overall)
Last Meeting: RPI 28, Endicott 0 at East Campus Stadium, Troy, Sept. 12, 2009 — RPI leads the all-time series 6-0
Last Week: Endicott defeated Framingham State 33-27, 3OT
About the Engineers: RPI has won nine consecutive season openers. Senior captain Pat McCarthy caught 12 passes for a personal best 195 yards last year against Endicott. The Engineers have never lost in three games at Endicott.
About the Gulls: Endicott was ranked to finish third in the Boyd Division of the New England Football Conference (NEFC) in the preseason poll. In six games against RPI, the Gulls have averaged just six points.
Edge: RPI has the upper hand. The Engineers are looking for a solid 2010 season and this is the beginning.

At Butterfield Stadium, Ithaca, 1 p.m.
(WABY 1160-AM —
Records: Union (0-0 overall) — Ithaca (1-0 overall)
Last Meeting: Union 24, No. 8 Ithaca 21 at Frank Bailey Field, Schenectady, Sept. 12, 2009 — The all-time series is tied 3-3
Last Week: Ithaca defeated St. Lawrence 33-3
About the Dutchmen: Union begins the season receiving votes in the Top 25 poll. Senior running back Chris Coney rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s meeting against Ithaca.
About the Bombers: After a slow start last week, Ithaca scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to finish off St. Lawrence. In three all-time meetings, Ithaca coach Mike Welch has not defeated Union. Welch and Union coach John Audino were members of the 1976 coaching staff at UAlbany.
Edge: This is a bit of a toss up. Union is likely the better team, while Ithaca is at home. It should be a terrific game.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Notes on Danes trip to Texas

The University at Albany football team takes their first trip down to the state of Texas this weekend to take on No. 10 Stephen F. Austin.

The Great Danes (1-0) will leave for Texas at 10 a.m. on Friday. The team is chartering a plane to Shreveport, La., and then driving two hours to the hotel in Lufkin, Texas.

The team will practice at Lufkin High School, which according to media guru Brian DePasquale, seats 10,000.

Lufkin is about 20 minutes outside of Nacogdoches, where Stephen F. Austin is located.

The Lumberjacks (0-1) lost to Texas A&M last weekend 48-7, but not too much can be taken from that games since the Aggies are in the Big 12 conference.

The last time UAlbany played a ranked opponent, it defeated No. 20 Maine, 20-16 at University Field on Sept. 19, 2009.

Also, in case you're wondering and I was, Stephen Fuller Austin is considered the founder of Anglo-American Texas.

At 21, he was elected to the territorial Legislature of Missouri.

Austin contributed a lot to Texas before, during and immediately after the state's revolution with Mexico. He died at age 43.

I'll have more on the blog later tonight or tomorrow.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Listen to "In the HuddLLe" tonight

The beginning of the local Division III football season is right around the corner.

If you follow RPI or Union College football, you should no doubt listen to "In the HuddLLe," a internet talk show about the Liberty League.

The show is entering its third season and is hosted by Eric Ren (a former RPI player), Frank Rossi (Union's radio announcer) and James Baker (a former Hobart player).

I will be joining them tonight at 8:30 p.m. The show starts at 7:30.

Here is a link to the web site where you can here tonight's show.

Union kicks off with Ithaca next Saturday at 1 p.m. and RPI will travel to Endicott for a 1 p.m. tilt on Sept. 11.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

UAlbany beats Maine 3-0

Some Associated Press pictures from UAlbany's opening night 3-0 victory over the Black Bears.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Video: Di Lella on UAlbany's first game

University at Albany junior quarterback Dan Di Lella talks about starting the season, his first career start and what it will take to beat Maine tonight.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maine wants another crack at UAlbany

The University at Albany football team defeated Maine 20-16 last year at University Field, after trailing 16-0.

This season, the two teams kick off the regular season Thursday night at Alfond Stadium.

The Black Bears are looking for revenge.

Sophomore center Garrett Williamson told the Portland Press Herald that he wants another shot at the Great Danes.

"We're excited to have another crack at Albany," said Williamson. "I think the offense as a whole is more confident in its ability. We're looking forward to going to work."

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